Why are you proud to be Catholic?

March 24 of this year was a special day for me. In the morning, I had the privilege of joining more than 500 pilgrims from the Boston area to witness the consistory that elevated Archbishop Seán O’Malley to cardinal. Now, at around 3 p.m., I was returning to St. Peter’s Square to take my turn in front of the camera.

With the beautiful, large dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the background, the crew from Boston Catholic Television was interviewing Catholics of all ages and from all walks of life. They were posing the same question to every interviewee. But it wasn’t, “What did you think of the consistory?” or, “What do you like most about Rome, the Eternal City?” Rather they were asking a question that on the surface seemed basic and easy: “Why are you proud to be Catholic?”

It was compelling to listen to the parade of answers to this query -- no two were alike! But I found myself agreeing with all the responses. What a rich faith we have!

Then it came to my turn in front of the lights. Many thoughts had been flooding through my mind during the powerful morning. It seemed like it would be quite difficult to sum it up in 5 minutes or less! BCTV director Father Bob Reed placed the microphone in front of me asking “So Scot, what makes you proud to be Catholic?” I thought of three reasons:

I’m first proud to be a Catholic because Jesus gave us the Catholic Church.

Jesus had so many acts of love toward us. He took on human flesh. He cured the sick. He willingly suffered a brutal death for us and then rose from the dead -- which changed everything! But, knowing our need for Him, He sent us the Holy Spirit, gave us the Church and gave the Church the precious gift of Himself in the Eucharist. The Church is where we encounter Christ in Body and Word.

I’m also proud to be Catholic because we share our faith with so many Catholic heroes of the past.

Rome is a perfect backdrop to consider the Catholics that gave everything to witness to the truth of the faith. St. Peter, St. Paul, so many Catholics have been martyred here! So many other holy women and men have walked these Roman streets over the Church’s 2,000 years! I think about my heroes of our recent past. Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the many holy men and women in the archdiocese that helped me learn the treasures of our faith, and the fine priests that through their sacrifice helped so many others and me encounter the risen Lord!

Finally, I’m proud to be Catholic because I get to share the journey toward God with a “club” of more than 1 billion members.

Standing in St. Peter’s square for an hour, we see Catholics of hundreds of different nationalities, ethnicities and languages pass by. It really gives an appreciation of the universality of our Church and its mission! But I also think about people with my favorite accent -- Bostonian! -- the people with whom I work, pray, minister, and share a friendship with God. The best thing about our billion-member “club” that is the Catholic Church is that it isn’t exclusive -- just the most inclusive group in the history of the world! I am inspired every day by Catholics who, after encountering Jesus and His love for us, respond generously by sharing their time, talent and resources so that others will come to know Him!

I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on this interview and its one question a number of times since March. Our Catholic Church was given to us by Jesus. But the Church exists today because of the generous sacrifices of Jesus’ Catholic disciples for the last 2,000 years. These heroes of our faith have ensured that the treasures of Catholicism get passed down to us. Some Catholics gave their lives -- literally -- as martyrs. Millions since have given their lives figuratively as dedicated missionaries, priests, religious and lifelong workers in support of the Church’s and Christ’s mission. Many millions more have sacrificed their time and financial resources to pass on the faith, assist in liturgies and serve the needy.

Locally, our Catholic predecessors in Boston suffered tremendous hardship and discrimination. But they heroically persevered, not only building many magnificent parishes, schools, hospitals and charitable agencies, but making our country better in their fight for the dignity of workers, the needs of the poor, and the respect for human life.

These great generations of Catholic believers now pass the torch to all of us, young and old, cradle Catholics and recent converts. Many local Catholics are responding very generously to this call. And we hope all Catholics will jump aboard this mission. Let us commit to passing on to our grandchildren’s generation a Church as strong as the one we inherited from our grandparents!

So in summary, I have billions of reasons that I’m proud to be Catholic -- I’m proud of every Catholic that has responded to Jesus’ abundant love with the generous sharing of their own time and resources. Now it’s your turn to reflect on this question: Why are you proud to be Catholic?

Scot Landry is Secretary for Institutional Advancement and Chief Development Officer for the Archdiocese of Boston.

Your turn -- Share why you are proud to be Catholic. Visit www.BostonCatholicMen.org/proud or call 617-977-0916 for more information.

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...

World
Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...